Actress Kristen Bell explains in this week's issue of PEOPLE how she resolved tension with her husband during the first days of the stay-at-home order

By Sam Gillette
May 13, 2020 12:00 PM
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Kristen Bell is all about finding common ground — including with husband Dax Shepard.

In an exclusive interview for this week's issue of PEOPLE, the star discusses her upcoming kids' book about inclusivity, The World Needs More Purple People, and reveals how she and Shepard overcame challenges — which they've discussed openly — while staying at home together during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"The first two weeks were f---ing brutal. They were rough," says Bell, 39, about their initial days together during the stay-at-home order. "We were driving each other nuts and we were fighting so much, but we worked it out like adults. The good thing is even when we're fighting, we can still laugh at each other and at ourselves."

Kristen Bell (L) and Dax Shepard
| Credit: Nathan Congleton/NBC/Getty

While they're in a great place now, the Veronica Mars alum says it's important for couples to take breaks from each other while they're cooped up inside.

"[During the] period where we were annoying each other, it wasn't a bad idea to steer clear of each other for a couple days," she says. "Which, normally, I don't recommend. But since you're caught in a house with someone, taking a breather wasn't bad for us. We didn't talk for two days."

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Kristen Bell
| Credit: Gage + Betterton

She adds, "We were sort of avoiding each other for two days to take a little break to calm down and not think the other person was the most annoying person on the planet."

The Good Place actress also gets candid about how homeschooling has been going. (Five days into the stay-at-home order, Bell revealed that she ripped up the color-coded schedules she'd created for daughters Delta, 5, and Lincoln, 7, whom she shares with Shepard, 45.)

"I'm trying to finish all the schoolwork if we can," she says. "Really, the priorities are: one thing for your brain, one thing for your body. That's a way better schedule than whatever color-coded nonsense I tried to instill."

Though Bell is the primary teacher, the Armchair Expert podcast co-host trades off with her and makes sure to show his support. Shepard's efforts have made Bell "fall much deeper in love with him," she explains.

The World Needs More Purple People book cover

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"He has been tapping me out when I get frustrated. It's been very heartwarming for me to see that he's still very plugged in," says Bell about the ways Shepard helps her with homeschooling. "Like, 'What did my kid do in school today? What does she need to do tomorrow? What time does the class start?' "

She adds, "He's made me feel like I'm not doing it by myself, which has made me fall much deeper in love with him. Because I think I'd pull my hair out if I thought it was all up to me."

The World Needs More Purple People goes on sale June 2.

For more about Kristen Bell's new children's book, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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